Summit’s Gerard and Corning place 5th and 7th in big air Olympic final
Snowboarding at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics came to a dramatic end Monday, Feb. 14, as the men’s big air snowboard finals took place at the Big Air Shougang venue.
Among the 12-man final was Silverthorne’s Chris Corning and Red Gerard, who placed 10th and third, respectively, in qualifiers. Both Summit locals needed to dial up their performances in the three-run final if they wanted to top the competition.
Corning wasted no time putting a huge run together. He got some major air and performed the first quad cork backside 1800 of the competition in his first run.
Corning let out a yell in celebration as he made his way to the bottom of the slope.
Corning set the standard for the rest of the competition early on with a score of 92 to take over the first-place spot.
Several competitors who followed tried to mirror the huge 1800 that Corning landed. A handful of them were successful, but none was able to top his score of 92.
Gerard stuck to his game plan and what he is extremely good at, and he landed his go-to backside 1620 with a mid-board grab on his first run, which gave him an 82.50 from the judges to be ranked sixth.
Corning remained in the top spot after the completion of the first round with China’s Yiming Su in second with a score of 89.50.
On Corning’s second run, he attempted to land a 1440, but he was not able to get enough rotation and ended up putting his hands down, subtracting points from his score.
Corning earned a 35.50, which put him sixth place after the second round — a good position for a podium shot going into his final run.
The competition continued to be electric as Su threw down a huge 1800 to score 93 and take over the top spot with a combined score of 182.50.
Gerard had no trouble keeping the energy up on his second run as he attempted to perform a switch backside 1800 but stumbled on the landing. He scored 19.25, putting him in seventh place.
On the final round of runs, the competition was heated as competitors jockeyed for a podium spot by attempting to get as much rotation as possible.
Corning and Gerard needed another score in the 90s to break onto the podium.
Corning decided to play it safe on his final run as he performed a frontside 1440, which he stomped. Corning scored a 64 to combine for a 156, which was not enough for a medal. Corning finished in seventh.
Gerard went back to one of his classic tricks and successfully landed a beautiful switch backside 1620. Gerard scored 83.25 for a combined score of 165.75 to move into third.
Gerard stayed in the bronze-medal position until Hiroaki Kunitake of Japan and Mons Roisland of Norway put down podium-worthy runs to bump Gerard into fifth. Gerard’s fifth-place finish matches where he placed at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Su topped the big air competition with a combined score of 182.50, while Roisland took silver and Canadian Max Parrot got his second medal of the games by winning bronze.
The completion of the big air event rounds out the Winter Olympics for Gerard and Corning. They will return to Summit County with fourth- and sixth-place finishes, respectively, in slopestyle as well as fifth- and seventh-place finishes in big air.
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